Back in Snow Leopard (10.6) the address book had a killer UI, was extremely powerful and functional. You could have a three-column view with a list of groups, a list of contacts in the selected group, and the details of the selected contact. It was great. Lion (10.7) came along with much-touted "address book UI improvements" and guess what? No more three-column view. At all. Period. You can view *one* column at a time (I kid you not) or you can view two columns—either groups and contacts, or contacts and details. This is so the address book can have a pretty theme to look like an actual address book—which of course can only have two pages side by side, not three. Just dumb retrogression for the sake of prettiness.
Mountain Lion (10.8) then gets promoted with three-panel address book viewing clearly visible in the screenshots. Yay, new feature! Oh wait, that's the feature they took out
in the last upgrade....
On the one hand it's nice that they listened to the complaints (I guess) and brought back the feature, but WTF?
I didn't upgrade from 10.7.4 to 10.7.5 because (a) That upgrade would have introduced Gatekeeper, which from what I read about it wouldn't be of any assistance to me and might conceivably be very annoying; (b) The main reason is because it required an upgrade to Safari, which I was using at the time, and that upgrade would have removed the beautiful RSS integration that Safari
had. You could have RSS feeds added to your bookmark bar and it would discreetly show a number next to each RSS link of how many unread items there were in that RSS feed. Not only that, but if you had several RSS feeds in a menu on your bookmark bar, the sum of unread feed items for all submenu links would be shown directly on your bookmark bar. Since then I've moved to using Vienna for my RSS feeds anyways (and now I use Google Chrome rather than Safari), but I haven't run across any compelling reason to upgrade to 10.7.5.
I might have upgraded to 10.8 (Mountain Lion), except that was a $30 upgrade and I had no reason to do it. (Mavericks — 10.9 — was the first OS upgrade they provided free of charge. They've all been free since then, which is smart as well as nice.) I don't remember if anything got broken in the Mountain Lion upgrade. (I researched it rather a lot before deciding not to do it; there may have been some issue. Also my mom's Mac Mini came with Mountain Lion and of course I'm her Tech Support as always.) iTunes may have been dumbed down and reduced in functionality in 10.8—the version I have is incredibly powerful for organizing music and playlists (which is the whole point
) but later versions have been steadily dumbed down and prettied up from what I've seen. Don't remember if that started in 10.8 or 10.9 though.
10.9 introduced a very very sneaky retrogression under the guise of "progress" that I would have missed if I hadn't been on high alert by that time, after the address book and Safari breakages described above. (I don't know if you've ever experienced trying to revert a Mac OS upgrade? Unless you have CarbonCopyCloner—which I didn't at that time but do now—it's almost impossible. Hence I was looking up every negative forum post I could find about 10.9 to see if any of them would be important to me.)
iTunes has always been able to sync with your iPod. That's the whole point
. (Or at least the original
point.) It also syncs your contacts and calendar (if you want to). This is very handy. No problems with it. It's a working feature. There's also iCloud syncing, where Apple stores your data (music or contacts or calendar or what have you) so you don't have to plug in a cable to sync, but that's always been optional.
In 10.9, the possibility to sync your contacts and calendar between your iPod and your iTunes over a physical cable was removed.
Completely gone. No workaround possible. If you want to run Mavericks and have the same contact details and the same calendar of appointments available on your iPod and your Mac, you have no choice
but to upload all
of your contacts' details and all
your appointment details to Apple's iCloud servers. And we all know (found out later
, actually) how secure those iCloud servers are
(There's one potential workaround that was mentioned very rarely and I couldn't tell from others' posts if it even worked, which would be to set up your own personal address book syncing server on a separate computer
running the paid
Mavericks OS X Server, and sync your contacts and calendar from that. Extremely
difficult to set up and not even clear if it's at all possible.)
That was the deal breaker for me installing Mavericks and that's when I stopped paying attention to Apple OS upgrades.
I'm a power user. I have at least three Vagrant boxes running on my computer at any given time. I have Better Touch Tool and have my trackpad gestures customized to the Nth degree, and I have Alfred (the paid version—worth it) and have custom searches set up for everything I could possibly need. I can look things up with my computer about 10X faster than I can (or than anyone I've ever seen can) with a Windows computer. I can't have things breaking
all the time for the sake of prettiness.
Thanks for asking, that was good to vent about.
It's worth emphasizing that my frustrations have all been related to upgrades that remove
features. The features present in Mac OS X Lion (what I have now) are perfectly fine for my needs—but if I could be assured that nothing would break
, I would be extremely happy to upgrade to the latest stuff. Things like Finder tags (and iTunes tags also for that matter) do look extremely nice and I'd be happy to have them. I think Apple is doing a decent job overall, but as a power user I need to have confidence that my stuff will work (including that my current stuff will continue to work), and I need to have control over what does and what doesn't go online. (Ubuntu's default built-in online search is ominous, but at least it has an "off" switch.)